Hello, my name is Ithica Hawk and I am running for CSM 17 this year. A lot of the information in this post will be duplicated from my website ( https://www.ithicahawk.space/ ) but I’m putting it here for ease of use for forum users.
Your EVE Online story.
I started in Eve Online in 2010 while I was still at University. I was drawn in by the stories and the tales of exploits that had leaked out into the rest of the gaming media. I stumbled through the nascent NPE at the time (which CCP Soundwave later described as “Welcome to Eve Online. Here’s your rubix cube. Go ■■■■ yourself’“). I did some missioning and explored the area around the Amarr Empire, slowly figuring things out.
I started to make a little bit of ISK doing hauling of some of the NPC goods when I determined that this was going to be the way I made my fortune. I worked my way up until I could afford a Bestower and started doing runs with it. I could barely buy enough goods to fill 1/3 of it but I kept at it until I had enough ISK to fill it. Then I spotted a much more lucrative opportunity to sell into lowsec. I packed up Francis the Bestower fit a small pulse laser to defend myself and a Small Hull Repairer I in case I was attacked and ventured into lowsec for the first time.
Pictured: My hopes and dreams going up in smoke
I was deterred. My career savings gone in an instant. But then I knew I too could shoot people. Some time later I discovered a small group that would be my home for about a year and a half, WH ORE Exploration. We were mostly new-ish players stumbling from highsec into PvP. We cut our teeth in wormhole space as part of Talocan United where we tricked them into thinking we were a group of experienced players. I recall being on our own comms and Talocan comms at the same time as Talocan execs (during an eviction operation) were giving out assignments. We’d agree with them, say no problem, then panic on our own comms as we had no idea what we’d agreed to.
Some time after that we moved back to known space after becoming friendly with some of the members of The Bastards during both Eve London meets and Fanfest 2013. I joined with The Bastards where I stayed for the next 3.5 years. During this time I learned how to pvp solo and in small gang as well as how to conduct campaigns. In fact, at this point I was still making our evening operations plans on pen & paper while at work.
Pictured: elite alliance level operations planning circa 2013
We had some absolute shenanigans during this time including wars with other lowsec pirate groups, invading some wormholes, defending others and, when Aegis Sov was just about to come, joining up with the Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork to take our very own little bit of sov (Documented here: Operation Sentinel Stand). Most importantly, I met an incredible group of people I’m still very much friends with to this day.
We also joined up with the GalMil guys in Faction Warfare and became part of the major FW organisation at that time, helping to lead and organise larger and larger fleets including with capital support. Around this time I also lost my first carrier to a Titan Doomsday.
After The Bastards started to go quiet, I moved to wormhole space, first briefly with Isogen-5 (just in time for them to collapse) then with Overload This where I stayed for the next 1.5 years, eventually being CEO.
Throughout my time in Overload This I met another group of amazing people to play internet spaceships with. I got to experience high-class wormhole combat at its peak with refitting carriers, 90 minute brawls, regularly rolling into other groups and some of the most high skill ceiling gameplay I believe ever existed in Eve Online. Around this time, wormhole space got hit pretty hard with gameplay changes I mention in My Platform and a number of us left to join WE FORM V0LTA where, apart from a brief Overload This resurrection in the form of Ehefkae (which also had it’s share of shenanigans, my favourite of which was The Defence of J120823), I have remained.
In V0LTA I have experienced incredible whaling/hunting fleets with some of the best in the game when we lived in Thera as well as the impact of the Age of the Rorqual and the expansion of oppressive supercap umbrellas. We joined up with Skill Urself in the East and waged a war on the Empires that resided there, eventually toppling them completely. In this time, I got to properly use supers as both small gang hunting and in large fleets with support. I also got to fly my Titan in anger, again both in small group settings and as part of a larger coalition fleet. It was intense gameplay with much narrative behind it.
Pictured: Alliance Tournament XIII - My first as a competitor
While flying with The Bastards I took part in Alliance Tournament XIII, my first as a competitor. Nashh Kadavr, Zimzat, and I ran the team of plucky first timers and we took our team to a 2-2 record which we were very proud of. Between then and my next appearance in Alliance Tournament XV with WE FORM V0LTA I started to get involved with the tournament scene in Eve Online. First commentating some matches at the EVE_NT meetups in Nottingham before expanding to help cast the EVE_NT Major and Minor leagues around that time period.
During Alliance Tournament XV I was also invited to commentate some matches during the first two weekends which were hosted by EVE_NT as well as appear on the desk.
Someone obviously liked what I was doing as I was invited back for Alliance Tournament XVI as one of the two hosts alongside Apothne. I was in charge of hosting weekends one and two as lead anchor on the desk.
Pictured: Me with the then Elise Randolph (now CCP Swift) and Rahne
Being part of the Alliance Tournament team for a number of years has been an incredible and humbling experience. There are so many people who make it all come together and it really allowed me to ‘work on Eve’ in a way in a professional capacity. EVE_NT worked with CCP as professionals work together to bring the viewers the best product we could, in doing that, I learned a great deal about working with and alongside CCP.
I’ve also been able to contribute to the community through the medium of art. I created a fantasy map of New Eden which released for free and requested that, rather than pay me, people donate to the Icelandic Red Cross. Through that effort we raised around $1200 USD for charity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, signed copies of my map have been auctioned for charity twice, raising approximately $1200 more, something I couldn’t be more proud of.
Pictured: New Eden as a fantasy map. This artwork has raised nearly $2.5k for charity. You can get a free copy on my Twitter here.
To summarise, I love Eve Online and I want to see it continue for many decades to come. CCPs mission statement has long been ‘to create virtual worlds that are more meaningful than real life’ and in many ways I think they succeed. The people and friendships I’ve made over the last 12 years in this game are real, deep and meaningful. I care what happens to my corpmates in game and out. I love the stories and the tales that people can tell of their own experiences. I am passionate about this and want to contribute everything I can to be part of the continued success and ever evolving story of New Eden.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. There are many more words that could go here and many more experiences to come in the future. I look forward to seeing you all in space.
Your areas of expertise. In which areas of the game do you feel you are the most knowledgeable? What qualities set you apart from other candidates?
I have been playing eve for a long time now and I have a lot of in-depth game knowledge about many particular areas of the game. If I had to put an ‘area of expertise’ down for the CSM specifically, I’d say it is my soft skills in listening/understanding/communicating. I think these are oft forgotten in favour of mechanical areas of the game. Eve is a social game which requires interacting with people from all walks of life, listening to them and extracting what the crux of any issue they may have actually is.
Then being able to formulate that issue into an easily digestible way to communicate with others.
Specific to ‘areas of the game’, I would say I’m extremely knowledgable about the tournament scene in Eve Online, both player run and CCP organised. This, of all parts of the game, I would say I know more about than most.
I go into a lot more detail about what I think are the important issues on my website on the My Platform page: My Platform — Ithica Hawk for CSM17
Pictured: Behind the scenes of Alliance Tournament XVII at CCP HQ in Reykjavik
Why are you applying for the CSM?
- My game knowledge - I have experienced a lot of what Eve has to offer over the years. I’ve participated in a vast range of content as a player, a content creator and as a leader. I do not claim to have an encyclopedic knowledge of specific mechanics but I certainly understand the vast majority of them and, importantly, how they effect the players.
- My neutrality - I have always maintained a relative neutral stance in Eve. We may fight each other in the game but in real life I will happily have a beer with anyone, no matter who they fly with in game. We are all playing this game together so it’s important to put aside us vs them ideals and focus on overall game health and longevity. In the past I have spoken out about mechanics / game aspects that I would like to see removed / balanced knowing that doing so would make things harder / worse for myself or my group but that it would be better for the game in the long run.
My relationships - I have a great working relationship with many players in Eve Online from all walks of life. I know how to have conversations with a lot of important stakeholders and how to listen to their feedback.
I also have a great working relationship and knowledge on how things work at CCP through my years of working directly with them as part of EVE_NT and at live events.
This includes working under NDA directly with CCP, sometimes CSM members take time to acclimatise to this but I already know the ins and outs.
My interpersonal & communication skills - I’m an engineer in the space industry by trade, a lot of my work life includes collecting requirements from stakeholders, clients and suppliers and designing / presenting solutions. Through this, I’ve become very adept at actively listening to people and extracting the actual crux of the matter, even if they struggle to articulate it themselves.
I’m very able to present my collected opinions and defend them when required. I am also great at recieving feedback and accepting when my own view may differ from those I represent.
- My approachability - I am absolutely happy to chat with anyone about any issues, especially issues I may not be as well versed in or issues about areas of gameplay I don’t regularly participate in. If you want to chat one-on-one or have me join your corp discord / TS and chat / answer questions in a public forum I am absolutely happy to do so, just reach out and we can coordinate something.
What can players expect from you?
Why do I want to be your CSM member? To me, being on the CSM is about much more than trying to force CCP to implement changes, or stop them from doing certain things - the CSM is a group of subject matter experts - players who know Eve inside and out. You need to trust your CSM, trust that when asked by CCP for their opinion - it will be aligned with your own opinion. The CSM should listen, collect feedback, and be aligned with the player base and present those findings to CCP in a clear and sensible manner. I strongly believe I can be your representative and I appreciate your support, and your vote.
Pictured: Me and CCP Antiquarian at Fanfest pubcrawl in 2018
Get in touch
You can get in touch with me through a butt load of ways:
- Through this forum post
- Through my Twitter - https://twitter.com/IthicaHawk
- On Discord, either IthicaHawk#7487 or on one of the many Discords I am in. I’m particularly around in the EVE_NT discord (EVE_NT)
- Via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Via New Eden Postal Service, addressed to Lord Hawk Estate, Kador Prime III, Kador